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January 4, 2023

Worcester State, QCC awarded $1.6M to enhance nursing programs

Photo | Courtesy of Worcester State University Worcester State University was one of the Central Massachusetts colleges who accepted nursing students from Becker College, after the Worcester institution closed in 2021.

Worcester State University and Quinsigamond Community College will split grants totaling $1.6 million intended to build nursing talent and create career pathways in Central Massachusetts.

The funding from the state government will enable the schools to expand their existing relationship, which allows QCC students to transfer to Worcester State, according to a Wednesday release from QCC, which is based in Worcester.

The grants will create a “pipeline of talent to connect to high growth industry sectors in Massachusetts, but more so access to opportunity, especially with kids of color and underserved communities that might not see themselves in jobs and careers like the ones we are spotlighting today,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito during a Tuesday visit to QCC, according to the press release.

Worcester State will receive $1 million of the funding for its undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. QCC, which awards associate degrees, will receive $600,000. The institutions are set to form a committee of healthcare industry groups and organizations to collaborate and meet training needs of employers. 

The programs at both institutions expanded in 2020 to accommodate the absorption of approximately 200 nursing students from Becker College in Worcester. The grants are the next step of support for the growth of the programs.

Some $400,000 of the funding is earmarked for equipment upgrades at Worcester State, and $300,000 is set aside for QCC to purchase new technology and equipment.

“This investment in higher education is wonderful news for Central Mass.,” said Jeffrey Turgeon, executive director of the MassHire Central Region Workforce Board. “Worcester State University and Quinsigamond Community College, along with the region’s healthcare industry partners, are well poised to make a real difference in expanding opportunity and strengthening our workforce.”

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